The Chicago Cubs (28-15) were riding high after Monday’s walk-off victory, courtesy of Victor Caratini‘s 9th-inning home run. But the Milwaukee Brewers (21-22) were able to bounce back at Wrigley Field on Tuesday, jumping on the Cubs early on a windy day en route to a 12-8 win, via MLB The Show 20.
Jon Lester started the game for the Cubs but wouldn’t be able to finish the 3rd inning. He loaded the bases with nobody out in the 1st, hitting Avisaíl García with a pitch to force in the first run and walking Justin Smoak to force in the second. Lester was able to dance out of the jam and avoided further damage, but he finished the frame down 2-0 and having thrown 37 pitches.
The Cubs would come right back, though. Kris Bryant singled to lead off the Cubs’ portion of the inning and Anthony Rizzo followed with a home run to right field, tying the game at 2-2 against Brewers starter Adrian Houser. Lester was able to bounce back with a one-two-three inning in the 2nd, but he got in trouble once again the following inning.
Brock Holt hit a bases-loaded single to left to drive in two runs and make it 4-2 in favor of Milwaukee, bringing up Christian Yelich with two men on base. Yelich hit a ball deep to center field, and the wind helped guide it into the basket near the 400-foot marker. Suddenly, the Brewers were ahead 7-2 and David Ross had seen enough.
The Cubs manager brought Alec Mills out of the bullpen after Lester had managed just 2 2/3 innings. On the positive side, because of an error on Ian Happ earlier in the inning, only two of the seven runs Lester surrendered were earned.
Once again, the Cubs came right back at Houser in the bottom half. David Bote reached on a throwing error by shortstop Orlando Arcia and Bryant followed with his 14th home run of the season. Rizzo smacked one to left field that got up into the jet stream and just barely got out of the park, making it his second home run of the day and bringing the Cubs to within 7-5.
The Brewers scored a run in the 4th to push the lead to three runs, and a two-run homer by Ian Happ in the 5th made it 8-7 in favor of Milwaukee. That’s as close as the Cubs would get, though, as the Brewers would score three runs against reliever Ryan Tepera in the 6th and one more against left-hander Kyle Ryan to push their lead to 12-7.
Chicago made one last run at the Brewers in the 9th, scoring one run and forcing Craig Counsell to bring Josh Hader out of the bullpen. With the Crew up 12-8 with two runners on base and two outs, Hader struck out Happ swinging to end the game.
Notes: Tepera allowed four earned in 2 1/3 innings on four hits and two walks. After the game, he was sent to Triple-A and reliever Dillon Maples was recalled. Ross made it clear that the move was less about Tepera’s overall performance and more about their overused bullpen needing fresh arms … Houser allowed seven runs – six earned – in just 4 1/3 innings, so he was unable to pitch long enough to get the win.
Rizzo – 3-for-5, 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI
Bryant – 4-for-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
Contreras – 3-for-5, R, RBI
Happ – 1-for-5, HR, 2 RBI
Cain – 3-for-6, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI
Yelich – 2-for-6, HR, 3 RBI
Piña – 3-for-6, 2 R, SB
Winning Pitcher – Brown (7-1)
Losing Pitcher – Lester (2-4)
Save – Hader (14)
Home Runs – Bryant (14), Rizzo 2 (11), Happ (9), Yelich (14)